The long-term consequences of closed schools are profound

Will Flanders and Libby Sobic:

In the latest chapter of the seemingly never-ending nightmare of school closures, Milwaukee Public Schools decided Sunday, Jan. 2 to return to virtual instruction for the first week of the spring semester, Jan. 3-7. This follows the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) making a similar decision to delay the start of the semester until January 6th. Both of these delays are planned to be short-term as a result of staffing shortages, but neither district has earned the benefit of the doubt. We find it very likely that this may represent the beginning of a longer-term delay. Only time will tell.

The pandemic has caused many institutions to weigh costs and benefits. But perhaps no institution failed more than the K-12 education system. The long-term consequences of closed schools are profound. WILL estimated an economic cost of more than $7 billion to the state from lost learning—representing lost opportunities for a college education, a good career, and a better life. Even more problematic, the kids facing school closures are the same students who already struggle to keep up academically. A recent Fordham study ranked both districts in the bottom ten when it comes to achievement and growth among disadvantaged students. 

Talk to any educator, and they will tell you that “catching kids up” isn’t as easy as moving through the year’s curriculum faster. It is one of the reasons that Wisconsin’s report card rewards student growth and not just proficiency—arguably to too large of extent. Any return to virtual learning, no matter how short, must acknowledge the costs and disruption of recent experience.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?